Rationalisation of antimicrobial use for respiratory tract infections in calves

01 October 2020 → 30 September 2024
Regional and community funding: IWT/VLAIO
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Animal health engineering
    • Veterinary epidemiology
    • Veterinary herd health management
    • Veterinary internal medicine and pathophysiology
    • Veterinary medical imaging
lung ultrasound precision medicien precision lifestock farming artificial intelligence pneumonia antibiotic use calves biomarkers decision support tool respiratory infections mycoplasma viruses early warning systems therapy length bovine respiratory disease
Project description

Respiratory tract infections are the leading indication for antimicrobial use in food producing animals, in particular calves. Because detection of diseased animals in large groups in a limited time frame is very difficult, and because respiratory infections spread rapidly, today antimicrobial group therapy (metaphylaxis) is common practiced. This mass medication highly contributes to antimicrobial resistance levels on farms. In this project we aim to aid the Flemish cattle sector to transition from antimicrobial group treatment to tailored individual treatment for respiratory tract infections. The intention is to realize this by (1) bringing quick scan lung ultrasonography, a near-gold standard for pneumonia diagnosis, to the farms, by (2) developing decision support tools for every step in the decision chain for antimicrobial use, and by (3) creating awareness, knowledge transfer and uniting farmers and veterinarians under a shared involvement towards reduced antimicrobial use for calf pneumonia (PneumoNO initiative). Where practically possible and desired, artificial intelligence will be applied to automate certain decision steps in selected subsectors.